Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Because I'm prone to sentimentality and nostalgia, New Years Eve is always a big deal to me. I think it's important to reflect. I think for me at least, I like to look back and know that my life is evolving. That I'm at least a little bit different, and hopefully better, than I was a year ago.

We experience things ever single day throughout the year. Some good, some bad, but at the very least I want to learn from these experiences. Has that learning helped me to grow, to improve? Am I closer today to the person I want to be than I was a year ago?

The answer isn't always yes. In fact for the past few years I've experienced difficulties, frustrations and setbacks that have made me rather unhappy come Dec. 31st. But there was always hope that the next year would be a chance to turn it all back around and get things back on track.

2009 was such a year for me. It was the first time in about 5 years that I could say it was unequivocally a better year than the one prior. About 7 years ago I decided that I wanted to be a nurse; three years ago made some changes to my job to allow me to take the necessary classes; two years ago the (pre-req) schooling began and I worked my ass off to get the grades I wanted; last year I applied to schools and got accepted to one of the top programs in the country.

It all finally came together for me in 2009. Yep, it was a truly great 12 months (give or take) and I'm going to celebrate appropriately with some friends tonight.

Cheers and Happy New Year, all. And to a great 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aventures in Celibacy

Tonight I have the chance to break the celibacy vow I took back in August - now that the semester is over - and while I should probably be excited about it, I'm not sure that I'm, well. up for the task.

A friend of mine here in Chicago is having a party, and we've had this mutual attraction and flirtation with each other for as long a we’ve known each other, but we’ve never been able to make it work. Over the semester we’ve flirted a few times, and back in November he sent me a text message saying that I’m invited to “
come down his chimney anytime” while I’m in Chicago over Christmas break.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing him for a few weeks, but now I’m feeling a bit ambivalent about the whole thing. Yes, on the one hand I really want that kind of release, but on the other I’m not sure I want to complicate the relationship we have with sex. Plus, I think I might actually be getting comfortable with the whole celibate lifestyle; I’m starting to think that maybe I’d like to wait just a little bit longer until the right situation presents itself (i.e. my T-crush – not that there’s any sign that he even knows I’m alive).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yeah, My Life is Awesome

I can add this to my list of Really Awesome Experiences – running into someone you’ve slept with, only to have the person not remember who you are. Seriously, like I need this in my life.

So today I get on the Brown Line at Diversey. There’s hardly anyone in the car. I sit down and look around and immediately see this guy I know named C, who is halfway down the car, looking at me. Fuuuck, I’m thinking -- he’s pretty much the last person in Chicago I want to run into and here’s why.

I met C. about two years ago in a coffee shop. He was handsome, intelligent and interesting. We exchanged numbers and went out on a few dates over the course of about 2 weeks. We even slept together once. I broke it off early because he was just a little weird. For starters, after our 3rd date we were making out on his bed when his dog jumped onto the bed and C didn’t shoo him off. Seriously – he let the dog lay there on the bed while we’re going at it. Awkard.

Another weird thing was that C. would break into this bizarre, cutesy, baby-talk thing while we were making out. Like full-on baby cutesy-wootsey talk. There he is, kissing my torso, biting my nipples and all of a sudden he’d let out this “oooh you have such a cute widdle belly button” – like he’s talking to an infant. “Umm, why are you talking like that?” I asked him and he just shrugged it off.

On our fourth and final date – the night we slept together – he told me he could only come if I licked him armpit. So there we are, going at it, and I’m now required to start rolling my tongue all in and around his pits. Christ, the things I do just to get laid, I remember thinking.

I should have called it off after the first warning sign – the dog on the bed – or probably should have gone running in the other direction during the baby-talk episode. But the truth is he was the first guy I dated after my big break up with Richard and I guess I just really wanted to get laid. After date #4 and the armpit incident, I told him I just didn’t think it was going to work out. I got a few texts from him in the weeks following but soon after I never heard from him again and, mercifully, I never ran into him.

Until today. So he’s looking at me across the car and I’m looking at him and I’m thinking this is ridiculous to try and ignore him and not say hello – we slept with each other, for fucks sake – so I get up form my seat and move to the one next to him.

He’s still staring at me, so I start:

Me: “Uh, Hi C.”
C.: “Hi?”
Me: “It’s (me).”
C: : “Uhh….” [Note: He’s looking at me like he seriously doesn’t know who I am.]
Me: “Remember me? Umm, we dated for a few weeks about 2 years ago.”
C.: “Oh. Yeah, right. I was trying to figure out why you looked familiar…”
Me (thinking: Why I looked familiar? Are you fucking kidding me?): “Yeah. So I just wanted to say hi…”
C. (still looking like maybe he doesn’t fully remember who I am): “Right. How are you? You look different. Is your hair different? Shorter?” [Note: My hair is no different now than it was when we dated two years ago. I pretty much look exactly the same as I did back in 2008.]
Me: “Uhh, no, not really. Anyway, I just wanted to say hi.”
C.: “Right. Wait, you’re studying to be a nurse, right?”
Me: “Yep, that’s right. Anyway, this is my stop so see you. Take care.”

Ugh. So to summarize: I met this guy two years ago. We dated for 2 weeks. We fucked. I run into him today and he doesn’t remember who I am. My life is awesome.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Lull of the Break Has Set In

I’ve been home - whoops, I mean "back" in Chicago for a week. The time has both crawled and flown by. All in all, a very relaxing trip so far. Perhaps too relaxing. I feel tired all the time – my body’s natural response to weeks upon weeks of 6 hour a night sleep session, or so I’m telling myself – and the night just feels old by 9 pm.

I’m fine with this, really, although I feel as though perhaps I should make myself busier.

Chicago is good – I’m reminded by the hour how much I miss it – but man, it is fucking cold. It is lame to complain about the weather, but: it is cold all the time; either raining or snowing; and the wind is intolerable. Today is the first day the sun has been out.

Because of this intolerance to the cold, I’m a little worried about Friday’s Polar Bear Plunge. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Well, I guess that’s about it for now. I just feel like I should be writing more, especially if I plan to boost my blogging in 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Georgetown Has Changed You. And Not In a Good Way.

Last night I met up with some old friends I haven't seen or barely talked to since August when I left for DC, and we had many beers and good conversations to catch up on all that's happened over the last 4 months. Or rather, we mostly talked about what my friends A. (currently navigating through a new relationship), J. (currently juggling multiple fuck buddies), and D. (still not getting laid) have been doing, since my life has been about studying and celibacy and other boring stuff since August.

Great conversation all around. A. mentioned that his girlfriend of 6 months recently told him that she loved him and he did not respond in kind, which got us talking about love in general and what it means, etc.

J. said that love, or rather a person's idea of what it is, changes as a person grows older. As in, a 21 y.o.'s idea of it is not likely the same as that of someone who is 30. Which lead to the following interaction:

Me: "I agree. It is kind of like the idea of... Oh, nevermind."
A.: "What?"
Me: "Well, I was going to make a comparison from Anthropology, but nevermind..."
J.: "No, please - continue."
Me: "Well, I was going to say it is a lot like man's idea of God, and how that has evolved as civilization has progressed. Early man worshipped nature as God. You know, first it was the wind then it was the sun. But then as man progressed, his idea of God became more sophisticated to the point where God is now this unknowable Diety..."
J.: "..."
A.: "..."
D.: "..."
J.: "Georgetown's changed you, man. And not in a good way."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday Funday - No Breakfast, No Lunch, And $2 Drinks - What Could Go Wrong? (Or: I Might Possibly Be an Alcoholic)

It's Monday morning and I'm sitting here at National waiting for my flight back to Chicago. The process of arriving here, checking in and getting through security has been surprisingly easy considering the mess of the last two days, but I feel like I'm suffering a quiet death.

I'm hungover from yesterday, a day that started early with me running errands in the snow and packing for home (subtext: no breakfast or lunch) and then heading to JRs to meet up with friends to celebrate the end of the semester over $2 Skyy drinks. It is a day that we'd been planning and looking forward to for weeks.

I arrived at two, sat at the bar, ordered a drink and waited for my classmates to arrive. For a a variety of reasons, most of them couldn't make it. Screw it, keep the drinks coming.

And they did. I was making friends with the bartender (heavier-handed pours as the hours went by) and random people throughout the afternoon. I got digits from guys I have no memory of meeting. I referred to Hillary Clinton as "saucy."

By the time Stephanie, Anand and Danny arrived around 5-ish, it was time to head over to my swim team's holiday party. I wanted to go so I could say goodbye to friends and see my crush one last time. But mostly to see my crush. He wasn't there, so we stayed for what seemed like 10 minutes before I might have said, "This place is dead. We're leaving."

The rest of the night - what was left of it - is really a blur. Danny, his roommate Stephan and I headed back to Danny's for a bit, but I remember feeling like I needed to go home, so I did. I bought some Chinese, then walked all the way back through Adams Morgan to my place. The Chinese was put on the kitchen table and remained there until the next day. I passed out in my bed, clothes off, lights on.

I woke with a start at 5 am. I decided to go for a walk all the way over to Georgetown because I realized that I'd still left my gym stuff in my locker at St. Mary's and I needed it for Chicago. And my bike was still there from Thursday too. It was a nice, long walk in the cold early morning. The sidewalks were still covered in snow; I walked most of the way on the empty streets. I looked up into the sky at the moon and the flights leaving National, realizing with glee that in just a few hours I'd be on one of those flights heading back to Chicago.

Although the last 24 hours weren't exactly the semester-ending celebration that I'd planned, I felt at peace. It had been a tough 4 months, but a good one. I'm content and ready for home.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Today was my last day of 1S finals. I'd been dreaming of this day for weeks. I tried to imagine the ecstatic feeling I'd have the moment my last final was done - the high, the freedom, the celebration.

Then the snowstorm happened. And my Health Promo final turned into an online shitshow exam done from the discomfort of my living room. And my final final exam - Philosophy - turned into no exam at all. My professor sent an email in the morning giving me a choice - 1) come to campus and take the final, or; 2) not take the final and take the grade I got on the midterm (a B) as my grade for the final exam.

Option 2 - Ummm, Yes please.

So the semester ended with a whimper, not a bang. But to celebrate I decided to join Kelley and Wiz at The Big Hunt, only to get to the metro and figure out that there's really no way to get to DuPont Circle.

But really, these are details. The semester is over and I'm giddy. And tomorrow I'll celebrate properly - $2 Absolut drinks at JRs with some friends before heading over to the Duplex for the team Xmas party, where hopefully I won't make an ass of myself (again) in front of T.

Friday, December 18, 2009


State of emergency?? Are you kidding me?
Apparently there's a "historic" snowstorm heading this way, about to dump 12-18 inches overnight.
Please please God, no.
Because this is really the last thing I need; the last straw. If I cannot finish my final exams tomorrow; if either of them gets postponed or messes with my plans to enjoy my last few days in DC; or if I can't fly out of National come Monday (although that's very unlikely), I will go Apeshit.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Post Traumatic Patho Stress Syndrome (or: Life is Good)

I woke up this morning with absolutely no idea what day it was.

It is a symptom of surviving the final exam in the most difficult class I've ever taken, Patophysiology. I've written about this class before, and I'm making a promise never to talk about it again after this (unless, of course, I get a C- and have to take it over again in the Spring).

Since last Thursday, I've been spending virtually every waking hour at the library studying for it. I counted 65 hours of Patho studying at the Lau since last Thursday morning. No joke bitches.
And the sad thing is that it pretty much takes 65 hours worth of studying just to pass the exam, let alone get an A. The class and the tests are hella difficult. I know a woman who cried - cried! - during the final exam last year.

I woke up yesterday at 5 am (my usual waking hour), rode my bike to school, and sat in the Med-Dent library for one last review before the 9 am final. I was exhausted and as I tried to review some of the practice tests, I found myself not understanding any of the words or concepts on the paper. Not. A. Single. Thing. How is it that I spent 65 hours studying and here, two hours before the final, I had still not learned anything? I felt the panic surge inside. I closed my notes, closed my eyes, took a deep breath with my face in my hands. I needed a little caffeine just to get the neurons firing, so I walked over to Starbucks.

I soon felt a bit better and headed over to class.
The exam was 100 questions, two hours. I found myself slipping into autopilot mode, going through each question, marking down the answer I thought was right. So much guessing, but there isn't really time to analyze all the possible choices. I was numb.

When it was over, a bunch of us headed over to The Tombs for a celebratory drink. Spirits were generally high, but I think we all were zombified. None of us seemed to feel good about the class or individual performances; we were all just glad to have it over with.

Like any time you share a difficult experience with a group of people, there's a closeness that develops. Over the last week, I've been part of a small group that has studied together for this class at the Lau and grew closer to them in that week than in the last 16. The class was an exercise in frustration and disappointment - it just feels shitty to study so much just to struggle to get a C -- but the resulting bonds formed are strong and worth it.

After The Tombs, a smaller group of us headed on to J. Paul's, the site of my first Cohort happy hour and a fitting bookend to the semester. We shared a bottle of champagne, but I found my energy dwindling so eventually Kelley and I left to start walking home. On the way, we discussed our relationships (or lack thereof), discussing developments in our lives. She was expressing her condolences to me over some recent disappointments I've had, to which I replied that in the grand scheme of things it was alright. If these are the biggest problems in my life, then things must be pretty good.
Which is true - once you get past the stress of school and look out beyond the weeds to see what my life is like - things are going pretty frickin' well for me these days. Kelley agreed and said that she's actually the happiest she's been in years, and that's a good thing.

We soon said our goodbyes and I continued walking down M St. towards Foggy Bottom to catch the Metro back home. It was dusk and it was cold and clear and you could see the monuments and the lights in the pinkish-blue sky.

The walk got me thinking that, like Kelley, I too feel like I'm happier than I've been in a long time. After a few years where I felt my life going backwards, 2009 was an incredible and exciting year for me. I've got good friends back in Chicago and elsewhere who have been very supportive to me; the sheer amount of support I feel from family and those closest to me is palpable. And I've made some incredible mates at school and I'm lucky to be at a place in my life where I can make these drastic changes and take my life in a new, exciting direction.

On Saturday I take my last 2 exams for the semester, then on Monday I'm back to Chicago for two weeks to see friends and family I've missed these four months. I'm ready. Holla.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chicken Madness Haiku

Last week my friend and classmate Emily introduced me to Wisemiller's Deli, a Georgetown institution and the home of the Chicken Madness (see photo above). This shit is the bomb. I've since been back 3 times for the Chicken Madness over the last few days, smelling up the Lau-Lau with the juicy goodness of the Chicken Madness. I can't seem to get enough of the Chicken Madness.

My life will never be the same, and I've written a haiku about it.

Party in my mouth.

How your sweet juices save me.

Christ, Finals Week sucks.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This Has Been My Week In a Nutshell

This week I had several exams in one of my nursing classes - 4 in one class alone - and all of them have been stressful. Easily the most difficult week of the semester thus far.

Here's the scene: A group of us are down in the lab, waiting for our instructor to arrive so that we can begin our exam. Our instructor arrives and the following conversation ensues...

Instructor: "Good morning. Does anyone have any questions I can answer before we begin?"

Student: "Yes, I do. I'm confused about the correct order to do (a certain procedure) because there's a discrepancy in the notes. Can you clarify?
Instructor: "No, I can't answer that. You should know it."

Student: "But you just asked us if we had any questions you could answer before the exam starts."
Instructor: "Sorry. I can't answer that."

Student: "..."

Sigh. It will be a miracle if I make it out of here alive. I'm heading out to Marvin's tonight for a drink.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This Is How Pathetic My Life Has Become...

I was shopping at the Giant the other day when I spotted frickin' Pepsi ONE in the cola isle and practically shat my pants.

I thought the Pepsi gods had discontinued my favorite aspartame-flavored cola a few years ago. Suddenly it was gone, replaced by that awful Pepsi Max. That shit is the worst, man. But alas, it seems somebody's been reading my e-mails because it the P.O. is back in da house!

Swear to God, folks, this discovery pretty much made my week. I've now resorted to drinking about 2 liters of the P.O. a day, just to make up for the lost time.

Sorry Cherry Coke Zero - you've been a worthy substitute. But daddy craves the real thing.

(Yeah, this is an actual entry about how happy I am that a soft drink is back on the shelves. And yes, I used the term "da house." My life is pretty much very sucky right now.)